THE PANDEMIC KEEPS US IN OUR CARS AT THE VETERINARIAN’S UNTIL OUR NAME IS CALLED
I watch a man walk his dog, a large brown dog, a thumping dog my dad would have said.
The man is bandy-legged, not tall, ball cap on backwards, tight jeans, sports team
sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. A concession to August and self-adulation. His
transportation is a Ford 350 Super Duty, Super Cab, FX4, silver, waxed and clean. The
ball mount hangs over the parking space line, a lethal projection for the radiator of the
next car to pull into that space.
A crop duster passes overhead, the engine revving and backing off as it dives, rises.
I squint my eyes to the sky to see where he is laying down his toxic concoction.
I am here for my old cat’s chest x-ray to check the size of her heart, which for me has
always been large and loving. But today we search for disease. On NPR, Timothy Snyder
is interviewed about his new book, his illness, his choice of surgery in Germany. The
woman next to my car is leaning against her fender, intent with her phone. She is tan, a
golfer I surmise by her clothes and shoes. She appears patient, but her foot taps the hot
asphalt while her Weimaraner hangs out the window, nails tapping on the car’s finish.
I put my seat back, vaguely consider writing down the name of Snyder’s book, lest later I
forget. The cat turns in her carrier. The man with the stud truck continues to walk his
intact dog. No one smiles or makes eye contact through their windshields. The door to the
building opens, someone leaves, someone enters. Such are our days.
Linda Blaskey is the recipient of two Fellowship Grants in Literature from Delaware Division of the Arts. She is poetry/interview editor emerita for Broadkill Review, is coordinator for the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, and editor at Quartet, and online poetry journal featuring the work of women fifty and over. Her work has been selected for inclusionBest New Poets, and for the North Carolina Poetry on the Bus project. She is author of the chapbook, Farm, the full-length collection, White Horses, and co-author of Walking the Sunken Boards.